After many trusted years of service, my original pfsense firewall died (Watchguard X700). So it was off to ebay to buy a newer model the X750e – faster processor, more RAM. £40 later on ebay I have myself a large red box!
For those who don’t know pfsense is a damn good open source firewall. It’s based upon FreeBSD and the firewall software runs particularly well, with a little tweaking, on old Watchguard boxes. These boxes have a 1.3Ghz celeron processor, 6 x 1Gb NICS, 512Mb RAM. More than ample for running a firewall. Get two and you can set one up for automatic-failover!
So if you want a firewall that is industrial grade and want to protect your home a little better than a typical ADSL type firewall, or just want to learn more about one of these babies, then head over to ebay and grab one for a bargain.
To get one working here are the high level steps that I’ve found to work
- Flash the BIOS with the original CF card so that you can use large CF cards on the box.
- Flash a 4Gb CF card with the latest version of pfsense
- Sort out the DMA issue caused by the latest version of pfsense
- Install WGXepc so you can control the speed of the howling banshees (aka cooling fans)
- Install LCDProc
- Configure your firewall for your personal tastes
Good starting point: https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/PfSense_on_Watchguard_Firebox